“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure”
Air travel can be a major vacation stressor. Aside from the generalized fear of flying that affects roughly 20 million people, there is also the anxiety and stress of a missed flight. From a broken alarm clock to a delayed connecting flight, starting your vacation or trip off by missing your flight can set you up for a rush of anxiety, depression and stress. After you have asked for help from the airline and your fate of waiting is sealed, follow these helpful tips to relieve the emotional and mental stress.
Accept the situation. Of course this is easier said than done, but try not to panic. This situation happens to people all the time. It is certainly frustrating, but it is maneuverable. Part of maintaining good mental health is to practice distress tolerance and accepting the situation. Criticizing yourself and others or dwelling on what you could have done does not help you deal with the situation.
Ask yourself what you have control over. After you have accepted that you have missed your flight, figure out what is in your control. Have you asked the airline for any additional help? Have you contacted anyone who will be affected by your delay, such as business associates, friends or the hotel? By taking control of the situation you are able to reduce anxiety and regain power.
Distract. If your next flight doesn’t leave for a few hours find a way to relax and distract yourself from the anxiety and stress. Many airports offer a variety of shops and restaurants. So, take a moment to enjoy a bite to eat from your favorite restaurant or splurge on a clever airport souvenir.
Enjoy your wait. It can feel like your trip will never start after you’ve missed a flight, but many airports in Europe and Asia offer transit tours. These tours are ideal for layovers longer than six hours and give you a quick glimpse of a city you never expected to explore. Before spending hours waiting for your next flight, check with the airport and see if they offer a way to enjoy your setback.
Relax. Aside from restaurants and shopping, many airports offer relaxation stations. These days airports are expanding their services from just providing flights to offering beds, massages, spas and even oxygen bars that help passengers relax and unwind from their travel stresses.
Although a missed flight is hardly the great start to a vacation or trip we all hope for, it is possible to avoid becoming overwhelmed by anxiety, depression and stress by practicing these helpful tips.